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Scotland’s oldest breeding osprey has hatched two more chicks

19/05/2009 13:44:34
birds/Birds_april_09/lowes_chicks_swt

Two chicks have hatched at the Loch of the Lowes to Scotland's oldest breeding osprey. Credit SWT.

46 offspring from 1 female osprey

May 2009. The hatching of two osprey chicks at Loch of the Lowes wildlife reserve marks another successful breeding year for Scotland's oldest known breeding osprey. Sadly the younger chick has died in the recent rains, but there is still hope for the third egg, which is yet to hatch.

Peter Ferns, SWT Visitor Centre Manager, said: "Our first chick hatched on Friday evening (15 May), and the second chick followed less than 11 hours later. This is an amazing feat for our 24 year old osprey. This year is the 40th anniversary of both the opening of the Loch of the Lowes wildlife reserve and the appearance of the first breeding osprey here, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate. We are still holding our breath in anticipation for the third egg which is due to hatch over the following days.

55 eggs
"Our osprey is the oldest known breeding female in Scotland and continues to surprise us with her ability travel the 3,000 miles from Africa to breed here. She has now produced 55 eggs, and 46 of those have hatched. Using high definition CCTV cameras, available thanks to funding from Chevron, all the action from the osprey nest can be viewed online at www.swt.org.uk or by visiting our Centre, where osprey can also be seen fishing right outside our bird hides."

" chicks and 1 egg yet to hatch at the Loch of the Lowes. Sadly the younger of these two chicks died during heavy rain. Credit SWT.

" chicks and 1 egg yet to hatch at the Loch of the Lowes. Sadly the younger of these two chicks died during heavy rain. Credit SWT.

24 hour nest watch
Claire Troup, SWT's Perthshire Ranger, explained: "Without the help of our dedicated volunteers and staff funded by SITA Tayside Biodiversity Fund, we would be unable to have a 24 hr surveillance team watching the nest until all the eggs hatched. This is so important, as we protect the rare birds and their eggs from thieves.

"The osprey as well as the other wildlife here on the reserve attracts over 20,000 visitors each year. Our high definition cameras make viewing the ospreys all the more exciting and enjoyable as you have an intimate view of exactly how ospreys behave in the wild and how they start off life to how they breed and rear their chicks ready for the big bad world."

Ospreys are just one of many wildlife attractions at Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve. Red squirrels and pine martens are regularly seen along with woodland birds of all types and sizes.

SWT's Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre is open all year, offering visitors the chance to observe wildlife in its natural setting while ensuring minimum disturbance to the animals.

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